sale (n.)

Middle English sale, from late Old English sala "a sale, act of selling," which according to OED probably is from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse sala "sale," but in either case from Proto-Germanic *salo (source also of Old High German sala, Swedish salu, Danish salg), from PIE root *sal- (3) "to grasp, take."

The specific application to a public auction is by 1670s. The sense of "a selling of shop goods at lower prices than usual" is attested by 1866. To be for sale "available for purchase, intended to be sold" is by 1610s; on sale in the same sense is by 1540s; the earlier form was to sale (late 14c.). Salariat "the salaried class" is by 1918, from French. Also see sales.

updated on November 19, 2021

Definitions of sale from WordNet

sale (n.)
a particular instance of selling;
they had to complete the sale before the banks closed
he has just made his first sale
sale (n.)
the general activity of selling;
laws limit the sale of handguns
they tried to boost sales
sale (n.)
an occasion (usually brief) for buying at specially reduced prices;
they held a sale to reduce their inventory
I got some great bargains at their annual sale
Synonyms: cut-rate sale / sales event
sale (n.)
the state of being purchasable; offered or exhibited for selling;
you'll find vitamin C for sale at most pharmacies
the new line of cars will soon be on sale
sale (n.)
an agreement (or contract) in which property is transferred from the seller (vendor) to the buyer (vendee) for a fixed price in money (paid or agreed to be paid by the buyer);
Synonyms: sales agreement
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.